Thursday, 27 December 2018

My name is Marian Jessie Bravery (nee Lewington) and I was born in Deptford in November 1936. My parents were Minnie Louisa Lewington (nee Barker) and Leonard John Lewington from Rotherhithe. My mum and Dad lived, with me, at 71 Windmill Lane until we were bombed out near the beginning of the Second World War. Although I was just a toddler at that time I do have some memories of the house. I remember crying when my mum told me that my teddy bear had been looted after the bombing because I used to cuddle him at the foot of the stairs.He was almost the same size as I was, so he was a large teddy! I also remember my mum took me to a grocer shop on a corner off Windmill Lane owned by a nice man called Harry Bloor who used to give me offcuts of breakfast sausage. And my mum used to push me, in my pushchair when going for walks, over the Surrey Canal.
I later discovered that my mum's sister, Ada lived next door, with her husband Leslie. Leslie was later called up and got captured in Singapore immediately they arrived, poor man, and suffered ill health even though he did survive. My aunt Ada spent the whole of the war years not knowing whether he was alive or dead but he turned up at my Granny Barker's flat in Renforth Street, Rotherhithe in 1946!
Our large family took care of me and mum after 71 Windmill Lane was destroyed so we were never without a bed. There is so much more to say (like when I got strafed while walking in Deptford High Street with my mum when I was six and living in Edward Street with my Aunt Flo, Uncle Frank Bennett and cousin Frankie ~ but I don't want to go on too long until I know that I might get a reply to this email. Although I now live in New Zealand, I still love, deep in my heart, Deptford, Rotherhithe and Surrey Docks area.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello all

Tomorrow I will be visiting Deptford and Greenwich to look at the addresses some of my
ancestors lived at. I am related to the Wards and Gossages.
The Gossages seemed to have started in Portsmouth/Portsea/Landport and worked for the Royal Navy. Then in the 1840's? a branch moved to Deptford and Greenwich and continued to work for the navy or in shipping.
I am unsure about where the Wards started but my great x3 grandfather was James Ward the licensed victualler from 1832-1834 at The Navy Arms at 60 New King St also known as 27 New King St or Dock St or Dogg St.
The Gossages and Wards were at Lind St, Broomfield Rd, Florence Rd, Amersham Rd, Idonia St, Dukes Pl, Abinger Rd, Evelyn St, St Helena Rd and South St

mail said...

Hello Marian, This is Ron King....I did reply to your blog on another site,but perhaps you did not see it, I lived at No 61 WL when you were at 71, and we had to leave at the same time as you,for the same reason - an unexploded parachute bomb. I remember my father helping your Mum to carry you up the steps on to the bridge on several occasions.

Marian Bravery (nee Lewington) said...

Hello Ron! I am delighted to hear from you and thank you so much for the additional information. As you know, I cannot remember anything about "getting bombed out" (as my mum put it!) but I treasure the few, unforgettable memories. There was another one I forgot about before ~ and that is when I remember sitting on the kerb outside our house playing with some older children. Someone gave me a piece of chewing gum but, silly little me, I promptly swallowed it. The other kids said it would get all tied up in my guts and I'd probably die!! Whereupon I fled back indoors, crying my eyes out so much I was sick. So mum said I'd be fine now because it wasn't in my tummy any more ~ and anyway that was nonsense! How old were you when you lived at 61 and do you remember any of my Lewington relatives (in particular Joyce and Peter)? I don't know which house they lived in but the family told me they definitely lived nearby in Windmill Lane. My cousin Joyce is still alive. She was born in December 1928 I think, so quite a bit older than I am. She is now widowed and lives in Yorkshire with two children and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. I am still in touch with Peter and Joyce by email.
I wish I could thank your father for helping my mum get me onto the bridge! I only remember the sensation of the rumbling going over it. All for now.

Marian Bravery (nee Lewington) said...

By the way, Ron, could you give me a link to the other site where you responded to me, please, because I have not seen it. Thanks.

mail said...

Hi Marian, thanks for your replies. With regard to your second, It was a while ago, but i'm sure that it was on Find My Past. They printed stories from people who had lived through the war. I commented on one of these,and you replied. The story is still on the site, but comments have been removed. I remember Harry Blore very well, I was a frequent customer in the shop which was next door-but-one to No 71. I was born in 1930, so was 9 at the outbreak of war.My sister Joyce was born in 1933. I think it likely that she was one of the "older children" in your story, along with Cynthia & Maureen Maher.
No. 71 survived the war intact, as did 61. I am in contact with a man who as a child, lived there from 1949 until it was demolished by the council in the 60's. We share many memories. I don't know if you would like to reply to me directly.....mail@ronaldking.plus.com I have photo's and docs which may be of interest Best wishes...Ron

Marian Bravery (nee Lewington) said...

Hi Ron,
So sorry for the delay in responding ~ and I shall love to communicate by email (so much easier!) But before I do that I want you to know that I am 'over the moon' to hear from you with such extra news ~ it was all a mystery to me, being so young at the time, of course. It's nice to know our particular houses survived intact, in spite of old Hitler's best efforts!! I assume you live in England, so we have an annoying time difference between us as we are half a day ahead of GMT but emails are so great ~ when we first came to live in NZ it was so behind the times here but it has caught up now! In the early days here we had to "book" overseas calls and they were limited to just 3 minutes at a time and very expensive! 'Bye for now ~ over to emailing . . . Warm wishes,Marian

Anonymous said...

Hello Marian. I knew an elderly lady named Ada when I first moved to the Sayes Court / Dacca Street / Prince Steet area of Deptford in 1991 as a 6 year old. Ada was the most polite, kindest, compassionate woman I ever met. She holds a special place in my heart. It's a long shot but I'm curious to know if this Ada was related to you. With kindest regards.